(Sam Favate’s article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, 1/17.)
Two years ago, Arizona made headlines with its ban on ethnic studies in the state’s schools, and the Tucson school district in particular was under the spotlight for its Mexican-American Studies Program.
Turns out the ban also includes William Shakespeare’s The Temptest — about a banished duke who seeks revenge through magic.
Arizona’s new law prohibits courses and classes that “promote the overthrow of the United States government, promote resentment toward a race or class of people, are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”
The Tucson Unified School District will end its 13-year Mexican-American program, after a judge in December found it to be in violation of the law. The district plans to clear the books from all classrooms, box them up and store them in a depository, Salon reported.
Curtis Acosta, one of the former teachers in the program wrote: “I asked if I could start teaching Shakespeare’s The Tempest and was told no, due to the themes that are present and the likelihood of avoiding discussions of colonization, enslavement, and racism were remote.”